How Exercise Can Help Your Eyes Stay Healthy

December 22, 2020

The eye is a delicate and complex organ, and its health can be affected by numerous factors within and outside of the body. Exercise is one such factor: it burns calories, helps build muscle, creates endorphins, improves endurance and stimulates organ function. Because of these overarching health benefits, it can also help keep your eyes healthy by managing wellness conditions that affect them and working to prevent or delay the onset of eye disease.

Effects of Exercise On the Eyes

When you exercise, your heart beats faster to pump blood throughout your body and deliver oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and cells. It also increases your rate of breathing and keeps your lungs strong. Furthermore, it dilates your veins and blood vessels in order to move blood where it needs to go, helping strengthen your veins and keeping your organs healthy at the same time. These biological rhythms and others that occur during exercise alleviate stress, produce positive and healing hormones and promote overall wellness throughout your body.


Every part of your body benefits from exercise, including your eyes. Exercise eases the pressure inside them, helps deliver nutrients to them so they can function properly and gets rid of toxins that could affect their health. Exercise won’t change how well you see, but it can help prevent your eyes from becoming weaker as you age and eye disease from developing over time.

Exercise and Eye Health

Physical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweightness and diabetes are linked to the development of eye diseases. Exercise can help you keep your body healthy overall and manage these conditions, and it can help protect your eye health over time.


Cataracts result from the thickening of cells in your eyes, which can lead to obstructed, cloudy vision and potentially blindness. Many studies have suggested, however, that doing something as simple as taking a 30 minute walk every day can keep these cells healthy, get rid of damaged cells, and help prevent cataracts from forming or progressing.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the result of long-term eye damage that can lead to vision loss and blindness. The cells of the macula are incredibly sensitive and active, which is understandable considering we use them constantly to interpret the visual signals we receive every moment of the day. Eventually, though, they begin to wear down with use because they generate free radicals and toxins that can cause eye damage. Regular exercise is believed to help slow this process. It stimulates the production and transport of antioxidants to your eyes and every other part of your body. These antioxidants get rid of unwanted toxins and damaged cells, helping your organs stay healthy. Studies have shown, in fact, that people who are inactive are more likely to develop AMD than people who keep themselves healthy and in shape.


Glaucoma is a disease that develops as a result of high pressure in the inner eye causing damage to the optic nerve, one of the primary transmitters of visual information to the brain. In time, if not properly treated, glaucoma can result in permanent vision loss and blindness. However, exercise produces chemicals and hormones that relieve stress and ease excess pressure throughout the body, meaning it will do the same to the pressure within your eyes. It also increases blood flow and oxygen delivery so your optic nerve will have better access to healthy nutrients that keep it working properly.  For patients already on medical treatment for glaucoma, exercise helps but does not replace prescribed therapies.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes is a chronic condition that comes with numerous health risks and needs. One of the long-term results of the body’s inability to produce insulin is damage to the retina. If diabetes is left untreated or is not managed properly, the eye may sustain enough damage to cause a retinal detachment or some other form of eye disease. While blood sugar testing and insulin treatments must still take place to properly manage this condition, regular exercise can also help manage the symptoms and ease the stress that leads to vision loss.

We’re Here to Help

At Piedmont Eye Center, we want to give you the most comprehensive treatment possible to help your eyes stay healthy, and staying healthy through exercise is a great way to future-proof your sight. If you have any questions on this topic or would like to make a plan to prevent eye disease, contact us today!

What Our Patients Think

  • Riley Hart /
  • Staci Hamlett /
    I couldn't recommend a better doctor, a better facility, and I'm so glad I did it.
  • Brenda Edson in front of a brick home
    Brenda Edson /
    "I could not have asked for a better experience at Piedmont Eye Center. From my very first visit, the staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and genuinely interested in me."
  • Bobby Moore /
    "I wish I would have done it many years ago now."
  • Bryan Mitchell outside of a football stadium
    Bryan Mitchell / ANALYST
    "My vision was the best it had been since I was a teen. I had my LASIK surgery performed almost 2 years ago, and it is as good today as it was then."
  • Caroline Trexler /
    "They ensured that the entire process from preliminary appointments to follow up visits went seamlessly – the perfect team that gave me perfect vision."
    "All and all, this has been a very pleasant and beneficial period for me. I recommend it highly for anyone in a similar situation.'
  • Cynthia Stewart standing outside
    Cynthia /
    "I feel almost like a new person It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning and be able to actually see across the room without fumbling for my glasses. "
  • Frances / RETIRED
    "Dr. Ceballos has always been very positive, clarifying everything medically, never leaving me in doubt and has always made me feel special and important."
  • Guy / RETIRED
    "The procedure was painless, and now I’m happy to say I only wear glasses to read. I have 20/20 vision in my left eye and 20/25 in my right. "
  • Janice Bloom standing in front of a tree
    "Dr. Bowers and his staff treated me with the utmost in professional care, making sure I was comfortable throughout the entire process."
  • Barbara / RETIRED
    "The procedure was pain free and I am so pleased with the results. It was money well spent and it is unbelievable how clear and colorful everything is. I want to tell Dr. Bowers and his staff how grateful I am."
  • Jerome / RETIRED
    "Doctor Vogel has treated me professionally as has his staff. They have been caring and have answered my questions to my satisfaction."
  • Jon Dupin standing outside of a brick home
    Jon Dupin / PASTOR
    "LASIK is not just a medical advancement to me; it’s a miracle"
  • Josh Brewer / HUMANITARIAN AID
    "Because of Dr. Bowers and his team at Piedmont Eye Center, my everyday life is now a whole lot easier. "
  • Judy Bowman / MISSIONARY
    "My experience of having Laser Vision Correction was fantastic. Dr. Bowers and all his staff are so knowledgeable and professional, yet very personal, warm, caring, and friendly."
  • Lucy standing in a classroom
    Lucy /
    "Dr. Bowers and his team were very comforting. The next morning, I opened my eyes and was able to see the alarm clock across the room, which I was never able to see before. It was a miracle!"
  • Martha Ann / GRANDMOTHER
    "It is a wonderful feeling to have no RX lenses. I want to thank Dr. Bowers and the Surgery Center for the freedom I feel.”
  • Monica Shelton / Featured Patient
    "Everyone told me what they were going to be doing to me and what to expect every step of the way. My experience with Piedmont Eye Center and Dr. Bowers and the whole LASIK team was awesome!"
  • Adelia / RETIRED
    "God led me to Dr. Vogel. He is absolutely the most wonderful doctor in the world. Not only is he a great doctor, he is a great ‘people person’. You always feel safe with him."
  • Penny Abbot in front of a home
    Penny Abbott / Financial Consultant
    "From the great staff who helped me, to the simplicity of setting up my flexible spending account, to my complete satisfaction and enjoyment of having clear sight, this has been an easy process."
    "The staff at Piedmont eased my nerves and the procedure was swift and smooth."
  • Sue Earsing and lasik eye surgery
    "I have always seen the world through glasses or contacts, so the sharpness of vision I have now was never there before."
    “Dr. Bowers not only met my expectations, he surpassed them. I had no idea that vision like this was possible. I no longer struggle in the shadows of a course- everything is clearer.”
  • Troy Doss
    "Piedmont Eye Center takes care of the little things to make LASIK a comfortable process."
Read More Testimonials